In many divorce cases in Massachusetts, one of the spouses may start considering leaving the marriage long before discussing it with the other spouse. While this is the ideal time to consider the financial consequences such as alimony and child support, emotions commonly run rampantly. Instead of approaching the divorce from a business point of view, it is not uncommon for individuals to focus on how a divorce would affect their relationship with their children and how they would adjust to single life.

While many couples are able to work through contentious issues, either on their own or with the guidance of mediators, others ultimately rely on the court to determine financial matters. A judge would usually consider a couple’s lifestyle prior to divorce proceedings when making decisions about alimony and child support. If the couple lived an extravagant lifestyle, the alimony and child support would have to be sufficient to maintain that lifestyle. If, for instance, one spouse owns a business that paid for the personal expenses of the other spouse during the marriage, the court may decide in favor of that arrangement continuing.

A parent who is concerned about the amount of time he or she will be allowed to spend with the children needs to understand that the court will consider the amount of time that parent has spent with the children previously. It is, therefore, important to plan ahead well before mentioning a divorce. A person can adjust the family’s lifestyle, stop his or her business from paying personal expenses and spend more time with the children long before filing for divorce.

Massachusetts couples that are considering divorce may benefit from a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. Such a professional will consider the family’s circumstances and suggest a strategy that will benefit all parties. Whether through mediation or litigation, an attorney will pursue fair treatment of both spouses while also protecting the best interests of the children. A visit to our divorce website may provide more information and answers to questions about alimony or child support.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Planning Pays Off“, Fred Silberberg, Oct. 21, 2014